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Old 06-11-2013
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Minn kota?

My new little tub needs a motor (so says my wife) and for the inland lakes around here I thought a 40-50lb thrust MinnKota would problaby push my boat around if there is no wind (disp 1800 pounds), probably creep along but I really dont plan on using it much. 45w solar to keep the battery charged is what I am thinking.

I would just stick a 4-10hp on the existing mount, but I would really rather not fiddle with the gas unless we end up heading out to monterey bay or something.

Would this work?
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Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Minn kota?

it works okay, as long as you understand the limitations. You should have/will need 2 batteries, one in use and one on charge, and don't expect to get the range or speed the manual says you will get. You're pushing almost a ton of displacement hull, which is different from pushing a lightweight dinghy or planing hull.
Add up the cost of a 50 lb thrust trolling motor, solar panel, solar panel mounting system,two batteries, wiring, charge controller etc., and you are damn close to, if not more than, the cost of a 2.5 hp Lehr outboard...

LEHR 2.5 HP 4-Stroke Propane Powered Outboard Motor

which strikes me as being a much, much better auxiliary solution, with easier-to-stow fuel that still works reliably no matter how overcast, and no gas or oil onboard- it's the same fuel you use for your bbq grille, and can be stored in a pvc pipe propane locker clamped to the stern rail.
If the stars align properly I'll be testing one soon, but all indicators are that this is a great little outboard.
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Last edited by bljones; 06-11-2013 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Minn kota?

That LEHR looks really cool. The benefit of solar is my wife can pull a little juice from the batt for accessories so the panels could be multi functional. On these lakes I really would be fine without a motor, but she is worried about getting becalmed.
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Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Minn kota?

You can get reliable used outboards for a lot less cash outlay.

My 44 lb thrust moved my friends 4500 pound boat at 2.3 kts in flat water - for 30 minutes on a 80ah battery. I charged the battery via a shore connection.
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Re: Minn kota?

I was gonna suggest the Lehr that BLJ did, pretty cook little engines and they burn clean. I don't know anything about them except that meet a lot of your requirements I would think. The other option are the pricey Torquedos electric motors. Very nice motors but you pay for it

As Chuckles mentions you can find some good used on craigslist & pennysavers but you have to the gas issue you mentioned
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Re: Minn kota?

I have a 32 lb. Mini Kota on the back of a 14 ft. aluminum jon boat and last week I used it when the gas engine wouldn't start. I was pushing straight into perhaps 10-12 mph wind and waves. I was really surprised at how little speed I made. In my opinion, you would be better served with a gas engine in the 6 hp range (as aggravating and messy as they are). Assuming that you will always be using it when there is no wind might not be a good assumption. The 2.5 hp propane engine would be a better bet than the trolling motor, but I'm not sure that it will be enough if you really, really need to make headway directly into any significant wind or waves, even on a lake (thunderstorms and associated wind for example). Just my opinion.
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Old 06-11-2013
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Re: Minn kota?

When I was sailing on Rutland Water, which is Europe's largest man made freshwater reservoir, combustion engines were not allowed. I installed a Yamaha M26 (55 lb thrust) which is made by Minn Kota. Loved it. Pushed my 26 footer with ease around with plenty of juice left in my leisure battery. I also had two batteries, one for the outboard and one that was being charged on land for the next day. As long as you don't have to deal with tides and streams electric outboards are fine. Actually, I had to relearn when I switched later to a petrol outboard. They are just not as responsive as an electric, I find. If you are looking for a Minn, see if you can get them branded as Yamaha. When I bought mine, it was quite a lot cheaper then the same sold as Minn Kota (but had only a two year and not three year warranty).
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Re: Minn kota?

Lol. Just bought an old sears 5hp for 75 bucks.
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Re: Minn kota?

one of the old gamefisher/eska/williams air cooled powerhead/watercooled leg motors?
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Re: Minn kota?

If things get bad, can you wave to a passing boat and bum a spare battery? I can run for 12 hours straight on my 8HP kicker with the gas I carry. That's good insurance. I do, however, carry a trolling motor for my dinghy. I think it's the bomb for that.
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